Yoga Poses for the Spleen & Kidneys
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Your spleen is in your higher abdominal area on the left side directly under your rib cage. The spleen is in charge of helping the lymphatic system ward off infections and filter old red blood cells from your bloodstream. The kidneys are situated around your waist behind your lower ribs. Your kidneys level your bodily fluids and control your blood pressure and glucose metabolism. Sarah Powers, author of “Insight Yoga” says certain yoga poses with twisting and inversions work to stimulate the kidneys and spleen and help your overall physiological body function more effectively.
According to B.K.S Iyengar, author of “Yoga the Path to Holistic Health,” Legs-Up-the-Wall pose fully stretches and aids in your spleen’s proper function. Legs-Up-the-Wall pose is a basic inversion where your body resembles an “L” shape with your legs supported by a wall and your upper back pressed into your yoga mat. Bring your mat alongside a wall. Face the wall and lie on your back. Scoot your bottom as close to the wall as possible. Extend your legs straight up the wall and let your heels rest on the wall. Flex your feet as if you are standing on the ceiling. “T” your arms and firm your upper back into the ground. Stay in this pose for five to 10 minutes.
Intense Side Stretch Pose
A consistent practice of Intense Side Stretch pose “stimulates and tones the kidneys,” says Iyengar. Intense Side Stretch is a standing pose in which you lay your torso over the leg extended out in front of you. Come to a wide stance, with your feet separated about 3 to 4 feet. Point both of your toes forward and straighten both legs. Raise your arms overheard and fold from your hips over your front leg. Let your hands release to the ground and stay in Intense Side Stretch pose for 30 seconds. Release and switch so your other leg is extended forward and repeat. This pose massages your abdominal organs, including your spleen, and also calms your brain.
Bharadvaja's Twist is a seated spinal twist that relieves disorders of kidneys and spleen according to Iygenar. Sit on your yoga mat with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your knees and place feet to the outside of your right hip. Rest your right ankle in the left foot arch. Sit with an elongated spine and then twist your torso toward your left. Keep your left arm behind you lined up with your spine and place your right hand on the outside of your left knee. Stay in Bharadvaja's Twist for 30 seconds and repeat to the other side, with your feet on the outside of your left hip.
Andrea Boldt has been in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. A personal trainer, run coach, group fitness instructor and master yoga teacher, she also holds certifications in holistic and fitness nutrition.